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We are delighted to share with you the video interview of Rüdiger K. Weng, President of the Board of Directors at Weng Contemporary, on the "10 AM SERIES" hosted by Johann König; who is currently the most important gallerist in Germany. During the one hour interview, Rüdiger K. Weng discussed various topics, including a preliminary introduction to the companies he runs and their activities, breaking it into:
1. The Mother company, Weng Fine Art AG, which deals in B2B dealership. Established in 1995, the company analyzes the art market and caters to its clients - the dealers, galleries, and auction houses, and has sold art by more than 800-1000 artists over the past 26 years. The retail distribution business model is reflected on the website's structure as well, where no artworks are on display; these are only available through the company's partners. The company has seen a 40% growth in revenues in the year 2020.
2. Weng Contemporary (ArtXX AG), our eCommerce platform catering to private clients via our website and other online platforms. The digital company has seen a 30% growth in revenues in the year 2020.
3. Weng Fine Art is the biggest independent shareholder in the art data provider Artnet.
An interesting factor is Weng Fine Art's participation in the stock exchange (currently at a valuation of EUR 55-60 million), as well as the unique way of raising funds through the banks and shareholders, based on the company's track record. As Rüdiger K. Weng has said "We do not broker, what we sell we own and do not rely on investors only. We reinvest the profits, this is the way the company grows and our shares are on a historical high at the moment".
Rüdiger K. Weng embraces the fact that he is fortunate to have a group of board of directors. This offers the opportunity to project transparently to the art industry, which is refreshing, in an opaque art market reality.
To find our more, watch (or listen) to the interview below:
Baby in a Sailor Suit, 2009
Edition of 130
120 x 80 cm (47.2 x 31.5 in.)
Signed and numbered
In mint condition
Link to the edition here
Hiking through the Icelandic landscape means to get oneself into it. In this loneliness full of moss, lichens, volcanic stones, and the melancholic bird-call of the golden plover high above it, it is difficult, Eliasson once said, "to say if a destination is 30 minutes away or maybe three hours or three days. So the question is about the point of view, about the perspective one has."
"People see space as a compilation, the placing of layers on top of each other. But you can also make a space by removing all the surrounding elements and then seeing what’s left."
Contact is content at Seljalandsfoss, 2014
Edition of 100
Each 53 x 42 cm (20 x 16.5 in.)
Signed and numbered on adhesive label
In mint condition
Explore the edition here
In the Butterfly series, the artist, as a meticulous collector, depicts colourful dead Butterflies displayed against a contrasting black background. The artwork was inspired by a pursuit typical in Victorian times – butterfly collecting – a popular educational hobby for gentlemen and clergy.
"Everyone’s frightened of glass, everyone’s frightened of sharks, everyone loves butterflies."—Damien Hirst
Again, adopting the mantle of a collector, the artist has created large collage gloss paintings featuring butterfly wings, which are part of the Psalm series. These, as with his other works, aim to capture the beauty and to grasp and fix the ephemeral. Yet, the works conceal the strict relationship between beauty and death.
In Paper Kite Butterfly on Oleander, Hirst features his signature motif – the butterfly – alive in its natural surroundings, hanging from a beautiful, strikingly coloured blossom. In this, he has created an uplifting and celestial image that inspires childlike wonder in the face of such a beauty of nature. At the same time, however, it provokes fundamental questions about the meaning of life, a life which is characterized by death, and the fragility of biological existence.
“I love butterflies because when they are dead they look alive."—Damien Hirst
There is no imminent promise of salvation, no escape offered in these works. Those black pills, as in Dark Black Heaven, are as threatening as they are strangely attractive, a dark fatal allure which we already know leads to one ultimate destiny.
Hirst’s work questions the equivocal role of medicine. It can either take life and save life or destroy and restore. These pills are not a memento mori like the skulls or the butterflies. They are a symbol of resignation and alienation from life, and a fatal attraction towards death.
"It’s like God should be, the way they sell you the pills, the forms, the utopia, the hope, the cure. We’ve come a long way since quack doctors."—Damien Hirst
The pharmaceutical cabinets, as in Hirst’s work Utopia, question people´s complete reliance on medications and their power to heal, which fulfill the natural desire for immortality. However, the question is: Can drugs cure this problem, or can art?
On the other hand, Gold tears, which is part of the Utopia series, depicts rows of shiny diamonds on shelves covered with golden foil in front of a golden-beige background. The image is an intense vision of a golden cabinet filled with diamonds, a vision often associated with glorious eternity. But as always in Hirst’s art, the ambiguity is obvious – this cabinet points to the fact that behind all the shiny glittery surfaces there might be nothing, no meaning, and no soul. And hence the desire for eternity is less a promise than a condemnation.
"I can’t understand why most people believe in medicine and don’t believe in art, without questioning either."—Damien Hirst